Earlier, taking note of the alleged hate speeches made by the two leaders, during poll campaigns, the Supreme Court had sought to know from the Election Commission about the action initiated against them.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi summoned a representative of the EC on Tuesday while agreeing to examine the poll panel’s contention that it has limited legal powers to deal with hate speeches of politicians during electioneering.
The bench referred to submissions of the EC that they can issue notice, then advisory and finally lodge a complaint against an errant politician for violating the MCC by giving hate speeches based on caste and religion during campaign.
“The EC says they are toothless. They say that they first issue notice, then advisory and then complain,” the bench said, adding it would examine the aspect relating to poll panel’s power to deal with hate speeches during poll campaign.
The counsel appearing for poll panel said that it has already issued notices against the two politicians.
“Tell us what actions you have taken against Mayawati and Yogi Adityanath,” the bench asked and fixed the matter for Tuesday.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by an NRI Yoga teacher based in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), seeking a direction to the EC to take “strict action” against political parties if their spokespersons make remarks based on caste and religion in the media in the run up to general elections.
Referring to communal and caste-based election speeches and remarks of political leaders, Harpreet Mansukhani had said he filed the plea to “maintain secular environment in the forthcoming Lok Sabha Election, 2019”.
“The ‘undesirable development’ of appeals to religion, race, caste, community or language of politicians would hamper the objective of fundamental rights provided under the Constitution of India, this would affect the public at large,” the plea had said.
It sought setting up of a committee under the chairmanship of retired Supreme Court Judge “to have close watch on entire election process and to check the loyalty of election commission”.
It had also sought a direction to the poll panel to take strict actions against media houses which hold debates on caste or religious lines.
The plea had sought a report from the poll panel on the measures adopted by it in holding “corruption free elections”.
“Our Constitution ensures a Socialist, Secular State and equality, fraternity among its citizens. Our country has a democratic set-up which is by the people, for the people and of the people.
“A new trend of giving tickets to those who spread communal hatred and do caste or religion based politics has grown very rapidly on media and social media platform more than that the situation appears to be more alarming when we find such persons being elected for the State Assembly or Parliament…,” the plea had said.